Philippians 3:1-11 One of the many paradoxes in life is that to be meek, you must not be weak. It takes strength to exercise meekness, especially when surround by those that are weaker than you. Some people are humble, because they have nothing of which to be proud. The Apostle Paul had much to be proud of, and in his own way, he exercised his right to boast in his achievements. However, he made it clear that, “I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord…”
Let us be careful. He did not say that his achievements, excluding the persecution of the Church, was in itself bad, but that when compared with what he found in Christ, his previous achievements were like garbage. Let us put Paul in perspective. He would have heard of Jesus and he no doubt would have seen Him. But he never spent three years with Him like Peter did. But is it significant that God used Peter to write two books in the New Testament, and Paul he used to write fourteen? When you read a book like Romans, do you get the feeling that God was putting Paul’s Theological background and training to good use for His purpose? God who has given us all, will use whatever we give Him.
Paul says it best in Ephesians 2:8-10. We are not saved by our good works, but we are saved to do good works. Here is a ridiculous example, but a good one. A well-constructed building has a foundation, below the ground, and a super-structure, above the ground. Both are essential to the usefulness of the building, but the order and positioning is even more critical. Suppose some mad man was to place the super-structure first, under the ground, and then lay the foundation on top of it, above the ground? Such a possibility is inconceivable.
Paul teaches in 1 Corinthians 3:11-15 that Jesus Christ and His redemptive work is the foundation on which our Christian lives are built. There can be no other foundation. However, we now have the responsibility to build wisely and diligently on top of that foundation. Some of us on this foundation will build gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay or stubble. Each man’s work will be tested by fire, and needless to say, the wood, hay and stubble will be destroyed, but the builder will be saved.
Let us open ourselves to the leading of the Holy Spirit who wants us to become the very best in His Kingdom that He created us to be. Let us become obsessed in making the greatest possible contribution to the kingdom of God that God’s gifts permit us to make. Let us work, and work, and work in His vineyard while it is day. For the night is coming when no man can work (John 9:4). Karen Wolfe may also remember hearing in Jamaica, “Good, better best. Never let it rest. Until your good becomes better, and your better best!”
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